Sorry for the silence. I was sort of regrouping and had nothing to say that wasn’t crying and raging at the world that it was really unfair. But thanks to everyone who took the time to message me and comment and be lovely. Knowing complete strangers have your back and are rooting for you is strangely comforting.
(On which note if you like this blog you might also like IVFML which is a podcast from an American couple about their adventures in infertility. It’s really well done, and it kind of does what I wanted this blog to do which is be informative and funny at the same time as recounting honestly all the crap bits. As much as anything if you’re in the UK and paying privately for any form of fertility treatment it will make you super grateful that however heinously expensive it is, it’s not a fraction of what it would cost in the USA.)
But I digress. Again. So after crying a lot and feeling like the world was against me and life was unfair and all that kind of thing. I started to think about what I was going to do next.
And while obviously I needed to talk to my consultant, my gut reaction was that I wasn’t done yet. (Unless someone told me I was an idiot for throwing more money at a problem that wasn’t solvable.) I did start thinking about whether I should change clinics — and then I realised that my clinic had a huge amount of information about me, and while that could go to another clinic with me, I wasn’t sure I needed to start from scratch. Because I knew all along that the egg freezing stuff was pretty experimental and came with no guarantees, but now I figured, I’m like — what, 90% of their patients — a woman in her 40s with fertility issues who’s trying to get pregnant with IVF. That’s their bread and butter, that’s what they do all day every day, so…
Although as my consultant pointed out when I went to see her, they’re not starting from scratch with me, they know what issues I may have, know what doses of drugs I need for stimulating my ovaries, and getting my endometrium thick enough, know — having done the ERA test — what day to transfer the embryo, and know that the male factor isn’t likely to be a problem (my donor is younger than me with a proven record of fertility). (I did obviously ask her about the likelihood of genetic incompatibility or whatever and she just said it wasn’t an issue.)
In my bid to minimise risk, I’ve also started thinking about PGS — pre-implantation genetic screening — essentially a technique that you can do to assess whether the embryo is genetically normal before you put it back, which means it’s more likely to survive, and you’re less likely to miscarry. It’s more money (of course it is) but still under £2000, and I just kind of wonder whether it’s worth it. Will I feel more or less gutted if I don’t have any embryos to transfer because none are genetically normal than I would have done if they’d put an embryo that looked good (but wasn’t) in and I either don’t get pregnant or I miscarry?
I know — I KNOW — that this is all about me trying to control things that are largely uncontrollable, but I can’t help it. I want to give myself the best chance possible and if that’s an extra bit of cash on top of what I’ve spent already, and what I’m about to spend: — cost for three vials of sperm, a pregnancy slot and transport – the best part of £2k; estimated costs for three cycles of IVF – probably £12k, maybe more when you include all the drugs and blood tests. And that’s on top of the £14k that I spent to freeze my eggs, and the around £7k (when I totted it up, probably closer to £10k now) I’ve spent trying to get pregnant with those frozen eggs. As near as dammit £40,000. Which is a lot of money. But in the great scheme of things, as a fraction of what I’ll earn in a lifetime, a price I’m prepared to pay to know that I won’t ever have to look back and wonder “what if…?”